Lodging Trade Show

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WH&LA’s 2016 Wisconsin Lodging Conference & Trade Show featured just under two days of whirlwind scheduling with attendees in many cases going right from the Conference to the polls and a busy night watching election results roll out, or in some cases hosting candidate election results festivities back at their properties!


With lodging member registration packages up another 10% for the third year in a row, and a completely full 84-booth Trade Show (the largest in over 10 years), our room block at our host hotel was exceeded, and additional rooms sold out. It was a great opportunity for lodging property owners and operators to network with peers around the state and gain some new perspectives, while also having some fun at the social events.


Special thanks go to our Chairman of the Board Dan Schetter, not only for his leadership of the association but also for wearing a second hat as General Manager of our host site: The Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel & Convention Center! Dan and his team went above and beyond in accommodating our growing size and demonstrating their great hospitality as well.


Most members are not aware that the conference programming is created and set by a combination of our Education/Conference Committee and a special Program Task Force that chooses topics and provides speaker suggestions. This helps us to stay on track in providing the type of topics and content that is what you are looking for. Thanks go to Brandon Springer from Lake Lawn Resort for leading both groups through the program puzzle process, and to our Task Force lodging members for their valued input!


With a dozen fantastic packages assembled and donated by many dedicated leaders and members with values ranging from $500 to $2,000, our Monday night voice auction and reverse bingo was great entertainment, combined with plentiful and tasty food stations and beverage stations.  With our daytime silent auction combined with Monday evening’s events, well over $10,000 was raised for a combination of our legislative campaign funds, the Scholarship Fund, and for WH&LA’s Room Tax Legal Defense Fund. Thanks to not only our many donors but also our many buyers throughout the Conference!


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WOW! Our hard-working Program Task Force has put together an amazing line up of talented speakers for the 2010 Wisconsin Lodging Conference & Trade Show and here’s just a sneak peek at who will be presenting:

Mark Murphy
He holds a law degree & an MBA, spent 16 years as director of athletics at the college level and played professional football for the Washington Redskins for eight years, earning a Super Bowl ring with them in 1982. As Green Bay Packers’ President & CEO since January 2008, Mr. Murphy, brings his extensive experience to (in his words) “one of the great franchises in all of professional sports, with a rich history and incredible fan support.”

Mr. Murphy opens this year’s Conference on Monday, October 25th at 9:00 am where he’ll share Delivering the Total Guest Experience.

Brad Brewer
As Regional Business Development Manager for MileStone Internet Marketing, Mr. Brewer specializes in search engine marketing and e-commerce strategies for the hospitality industry. Since 2008 he has worked closely with properties, management companies and tourism organizations to develop complete Internet marketing solutions.

Mr. Brewer will be presenting two Internet Marketing  & Social Media breakout sessions this year, the first on Monday, 10/25 will cover local versus global search, utilizing directory listings to drive relevance to your web site and more. On Tuesday, Mr. Brewer will be back again with a program on Web 2.0 including social media and monitoring online conversations about your property.

Susan Hartman
Tuesday morning kicks off with Reinventing Your Business by strategic planning expert Susan Hartman. Founder & President of the The Hartman Group, Ms. Hartman can help you to better understand your business, your customers and your competitive field. Then, once she’s helped you identify and understand the opportunities available to you, she’ll work with you to develop customized solutions to achieve success.

Let’s face it, most guests’ expectations have changed in the last few years and Ms. Hartman will lead a discussion on what it takes to make your business thrive in the ‘new normal’.

Michael J. “Doc” Terry, PhD
With a background in hospitality Marketing, Finance & Operations, Dr. Terry is frequently in demand as a consultant, coach and speaker.  He is one of those rare finds– enthusiastic, educated, and grounded in practical experience.

Thanks to American Express and the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) we are fortunate to have Dr. Terry with us to share Does Your Marketing Plan Have Real ROI? In this Tuesday morning breakout session, Dr. Terry will share marketing culture used by both domestic and global lodging companies as well as his five steps to maximizing YOUR marketing ROI. You will leave with innovative skills you can use immediately to prepare for 2010/11.

Robert Cole
Finally, to wrap up the Conference, Robert Cole from RockCheetah will take attendees through Future Lodging Trends & Emerging Technologies. With 30 years of hospitality experience, Mr. Cole provides hospitality marketing strategy and travel technology management advisory services to the lodging & tourism industries.

He joins us for the closing session at 11:00 am Tuesday with a look at technology advancements including search & personalization as well as anytime/ anywhere mobile access and what that means for your lodging business.

Are you registered yet? Early bird registration expires Tuesday, 10/12 – don’t miss out! Download the full registration information here or sign up online today.


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Presented by the American Marketing Association:
DATE: Thursday, March 25, 2010
TIME: 12:00 pm CT
John Lovett, Senior Partner, Web Analytics Demystified
Alli Libb, Moderator, American Marketing Association

“The social media frenzy is escalating as millions of consumers flock to sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr to find their social media fix. Now marketers seek out customers in these new channels with an estimated 86% that plan to increase their investments in social media activity this year. However, among these marketers, a staggering number are failing to measure the effects of their efforts. Yet, dollars are flowing from traditional marketing activities to social media methods. Now more than ever it’s imperative to measure the results of social media marketing.

Join John Lovett, an expert from Web Analytics Demystified as he strips away the hype of social media and apply proven measurement practices. In this session you’ll learn how to:

  • Identify the focal point for measuring social media activity
  • Align strategic measurement with business objectives
  • Create Key Performance Indicators for social media measurement
  • Recognize metrics that offer insight into your customers social activity
  • Use a framework for truly understanding social media marketing”

Click here to learn more & register.

The WIA does not endorse either the AMA or Web Analytics Demystified, nor any of their seminars, materials, or information, and will not be held accountable for any such representations. The information above is simply provided as a courtesy to our members.


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The Wisconsin Innkeepers Association (WIA) is pleased to honor Professor Joseph Holland J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Stout as the 2009 Associate of the Year. Given annually, WIA awards this honor to an individual who services Wisconsin’s lodging industry in an exemplary manner.ProfHolland

Joe is a current member of the WIA Board of Directors who, along with Student Director Rachel Bernstein, has helped connect lodging industry professionals with students in Hospitality. He is a tenured full professor in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism, teaching Hospitality Law & Liability, Foodservice Finance & Cost Controls and more.

Participating in articulation agreements as far away as Singapore, Spain, and RAI University in India, as well as here in Wisconsin with Lake Geneva High Schools and Gateway Technical College, Joe has learned and shared his expertise through UW-Stout for 23 years. In 1998 he was awarded the Educator of the Year Award from the Menomonie Chamber of Commerce.

Part of Joe’s work has been to coordinate the AH&LA Educational Foundation scholarships for students in the Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management Program, with many students at UW-Stout receiving valuable scholarships to assist with their education over the years.  In addition to his role on the WIA Board of Directors, Joe also serves as Faculty Advisor to the American Hospitality Professionals chapter at UW-Stout, two national committees with the American Resort Development Association, chairs the Menonomie Tourism Commission and is the Associate Director of the Groupware Competency Center at the University of Paderborn in Paderborn, Germany.

Joe received his award earlier this week at the 2009 Wisconsin Lodging Conference & Trade Show at the Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells. Congratulations again to Professor Holland: the 2009 Associate of the Year!


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The Wisconsin Innkeepers Association is proud to honor the 2009 Innkeeper of the Year, Brian Brandstetter from Cornerstone Hotel Management in DeForest. The “Innkeeper of the Year Award” is a time-honored tradition to recognize an outstanding individual who exemplifies the hospitality industry in our state.BrianBrandstetterCHA

Brian has served as the President of Cornerstone Hotel Management, operating five hotels in Wisconsin and one in Illinois, for the last 12 years.

Beginning with attending committee meetings in 1991, Brian began his service on the WIA Board of Directors in 1992, serving as a Chair or Vice-Chair of every WIA Committee.
He was elected WIA Secretary-Treasurer in 1998 and moved
up the ladder through all officer positions, serving as the WIA Chairman of the Board in 2002. He receiving the AH&LA Most Valuable Volunteer Award for Wisconsin in 2003, and has continued to serve on the WIA Board until his term expires this December.
Tops on his list of successes, he was voted “#1 Dad” by his kids which he described as his “best award and reward of them all.” His list of Awards for the properties he has overseen, representing multiple franchises, includes:

  • Hampton Inn’s Circle of Excellence Award
  • Two retention awards with Country Inn as well as their 2000 Inn of the Year
  • Four Quality of Excellence Awards with Holiday Inn
  • Four consecutive Gold Awards with Choice Hotels
  • Five consecutive Director Awards with Best Western

A graduate of UW-Stout, Dale Carnegie Training, a CHA and a Certified Pool Operator, Brian also served as President of the Chamber of Commerce for two years, initiated a Tourism Commission in DeForest, and has served on room tax committees in 3 different communities.


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3:00-7:00 pm, October 26, 2009
Glacier Canyon Conference Center,
at the Wilderness Resort, Wisconsin Dells

by Bill Elliott, WIA
Win a Night & Make Some Deals!

It’s time for the WIA’s Lodging Conference again, and just like always, you should be prepared to find some great values at our TRADE SHOW! There are a host of new vendors exhibiting – from an exterminator with a bed-bug-sniffing dog, to companies who’ll help you with wall coverings to insurance agents, you are sure to find something that you didn’t even know about last year.

Of course, what would a WIA trade show be without some of the regulars as well? Don’t worry… they will be there, too! To see a complete list of the exhibitors, click here.

While you’re in the Show, make sure to fill out & return your “Sherlock’s Tour” game sheet. It’s a great way to meet some of the exhibitors that support the WIA, and one lucky participant will win a free night at the Wilderness Resort in the Wisconsin Dells!

The trade show is open to all Lodging Properties free of charge. Either register for the conference or email me for a free pass!


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Who: WI Lodging Conference Participants
What: Sunday Night Challenge – A Fun, New PAC fundraiser event
Where: Kalahari’s New Indoor Theme Park
When: Sunday, 10/25 6:00 p.m.
Why: It’s FUN, there will be PRIZES, it’s a fundraiser for WIAPAC, and did I mention FUN?
How: Not registered yet? Click here to download the info & then register online or contact Andrew in the WIA office
Here’s the scoop:

  • There will be 10 interactive events featuring bowling, billiards, darts, virtual golf and WIAPAC trivia
  • Participants will compete in teams of 2 – If you come by yourself, we can pair you with another participant & THERE WILL BE PRIZES!
  • Pizza, Soda and Desserts are provided as part of your package & a cash bar is also available

This NEW Sunday Night Challenge is a fundraiser for the WIAPAC fund and donations can be made onsite by purchasing “do-over” tickets. “Do-over” tickets are $5 each (or 5 for $20) and each ticket allows you to “do-over” an event for a chance to earn a higher team score. Prizes will be awarded based on total team scores. There is no limit on the amount of tickets you can purchase.
Again, there’s only a few days left to get in on the FUN! Click here to download the info & then register online or contact Andrew in the WIA office – Deadline to Register is NOON on FRIDAY, 10/23!


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October 25-27, 2009
Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness Resort,
Wisconsin Dells

View the entire Conference Program, including session schedule and descriptions, along with advertiser, sponsor and Trade Show information here (click FULLSCREEN in the upper left corner for easier viewing).

Plus, there’s still time to sign up! Check out all the Conference blog posts, then click here to register online, or contact Andrew in the WIA office for more information.


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In addition to the outstanding speakers we blogged about last week, we’re also excited to present an equally talented group of panelists for the 2009 Wisconsin Lodging Conference & Trade Show:

October 25-27, 2009
Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness Resort,
Wisconsin Dells

Straight Talk on the Economy, Monday 10:30 a.m. features panelists Bill Otto, President of Marcus Hotels & Resorts and Todd Winkler, President of WISCO Hotels along with Lindsay Culbreath from Smith Travel Research (STR). Moderated by Scott Anderson, President of Kohler Company’s Hospitality Division, together these hospitality experts will share their insights into the state of Wisconsin’s Economy, its impact on the lodging industry, as well as where owners & operators should focus over the next year.  This fast-paced, informative session will also include projections for the rest of 2009 and into 2010.

Monday afternoon’s breakout sessions get started with Affordable Renovations at 1:45 p.m. where design & construction experts Doug Nysse from Kahler Slater Inc., Bill Ryan with Architectural Design Consultants Inc. and Darren Noak from Tri-North Builders will answer all your renovation questions.  From determining the best time to remodel to how to establish a budget for renovations; advice for picking your design team or identifying lower cost/ big impact renovation strategies; these experts will share their experiences including their list of DO’s and DON’T's.

With sessions on Monday afternoon, 1:45 p.m. and again Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. attendees have two opportunities to hear this panel of experts on Reducing Operational Costs. Matt Matenaer, P.E., Energy Advisor with Focus on Energy kicks off the program with guidance on implementing the most cost-effective energy savings strategies for your property. Next, learn purchasing strategies to reduce or control costs from Neil Locke with Neil Locke & Associates. Finally, Mike Kaminski with Chula Vista Resort and the AmericInn Motel in Wisconsin Dells will share his practical insight with proven strategies for both a large multi-service resort as well as a smaller, limited service property.

Learn more & register for the Wisconsin Lodging Conference & Trade Show – Early Bird rates expire TODAY- Monday, October 12th.  Download the Conference brochure, check out the Sunday Night Challenge, make a Silent Auction Donation or register online here.


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October 25-27, 2009
Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness Resort,
Wisconsin Dells

We missed a few people on the list of trade show exhibitors listed in InnTouch Magazine last week… Please note that Lagina Plumbing, Best Collections Inc and A&A Fire and Security, Inc will be there!

We have had even more companies sign up since then, so make sure to check out the full list!

If you are looking to save money, the WIA Trade Show is the place to be. To register for the conference, click here or, email Andrew in the WIA office to get a FREE trade show pass.


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